Women in Philosophy Course on Highbrow

I’m really excited to be launching my Women in Philosophy mini-course today over on highbrow. It’s a ten day course that covers everything and everyone from Diotima and Hypatia to Judith Butler and Kimberlé Crenshaw. It’s been hugely stimulating and challenging to write, and has provoked me into thinking once again about the misogyny and sexism of the Western philosophical tradition. Here’s a list of all the philosophers covered:

  • Diotima of Mantinea
  • Hypatia of Alexandria
  • Héloïse
  • Hildegard von Bingen
  • Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Judith Butler
  • Martha Nussbaum
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw
  • Kathryn T. Gines

There are so many other philosophers and thinkers I could have included. But in a mini-course with only ten five-minute lessons, space was limited. If you sign up to Highbrow (the course is a premium course, but you can sign up for a month for free), let me know how you get on.

Teaching at the OU and OCA

After a pause of a few months, I’m pleased to be back to teaching again. I’ve always found teaching and writing mutually supportive, so I’m delighted to be working on the second year of the Open University MA course in Creative Writing, and on the BA in Creative Writing at the Open College of the Arts. Term starts soon, and so I’m looking forward to virtually meeting my new students in the next couple of weeks.

Talking About Orpheus in Sofia

This was recorded last December, but I forgot to post it back then, so I thought I should add this link to a video of my Bulgarian TV interview with the excellent Dessie Mikova about my novel The Descent of the Lyre. It was recorded last December when I was over in Sofia.

In this interview, you will note that I become miraculously fluent in Bulgarian. It really is quite remarkable…

If you are not a Bulgarian speaker, then you can just watch my animated facial expressions and my extravagant gestures, and guess what I am saying. That is more or less what I did when I watched it again this morning…

Snapshots of Museum Experience – Elee Kirk

I’m really pleased to be able to announce that I’ve just received the contract from Routledge for Dr. Elee Kirk’s forthcoming book Snapshots of Museum Experience — a study of children’s experiences and photography in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. It will be published in their Routledge Research in Museum Studies series.

As many of you know, Elee was my long term partner and collaborator, and she died of breast cancer last August. Elee had planned to refashion her PhD thesis into a book herself, and we had worked together on a plan for the rewrite. As things with Elee’s illness developed far more quickly than we had hoped or anticipated, she didn’t get a chance to do the work herself. So I will be working on a rewrite in accord with the plan that Elee and I agreed together.

It will be an interesting and perhaps somewhat difficult writing challenge, working with somebody else’s book and somebody else’s voice. But if the final book won’t be quite the same book that Elee would have written, it is an nevertheless an honour to work on it. Elee’s research was so interesting, so well-informed, and so enjoyable to read about that I am delighted that it should be finding its way out into the world in book form. I hope that I do it justice.

Highbrow Philosophy!

I’m delighted to announce that my introductory philosophy course, “What Is Wisdom: An Introduction To Philosophy”, has just been launched over on Highbrow. It’s a ten-day email course which covers a whole range of philosophers — Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Confucius, Zhuangzi and the Buddha. The course explores what the philosophers have said about what wisdom is or might be. Visit Highbrow’s website to find out more.

You may have looked at the names above and thought that there is a suspiciously high number of Persons With Beards on the list. This will be remedied in my next Highbrow course on Women Philosophers, which is currently work-in-progress. But when it comes out it will be guaranteed 100% beard-free.

The Rocket Dog is Launched!

Today is the official launch date for Lucy and the Rocket Dog. 🚀🐶🎈🎊🎉

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I think it would be an excellent thing if you all went and bought a copy.

If you like any of the following, there’s a chance you’ll like it: space, rockets, dogs, space-dogs, space-rabbits, love stories, Einstein, time dilation, girl scientists, jokes about philosophers, and unexpectedly happy endings.

This page has links for you to buy from evil and non-evil outlets, in the UK and US, according to your preference.

Forthcoming – Stealing with the Eyes

I’m delighted to be able to announce that my anthropological-memoir-of-sorts, Stealing with the Eyes, is due to out from Haus Publishing next year. It is a tale of possession, exorcism, gods, ancestors, anthropologists and unpaid debts, drawing upon the research I did into the wood-carving industry a quarter of a century ago (!) in the Tanimbar islands of Indonesia. I’ll post more closer to the time. The title, incidentally, comes from the Indonesian curi mata — a nicely succinct summation of the anthropological enterprise that was put to me by one of my Indonesian friends…

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